Today is the end of the second week of classes and this morning, I had a very interesting experience.
In my first and second subjects, we had these discussions. My professors encourage students to participate in the discussion and contribute their own thoughts. And people really talked a lot in both subjects! At first, I did not know why I found that so stressful. But well, I just realized that I still haven’t outgrown my shyness when it comes to recitations and class discussions. I don’t even think I can call it shyness. It’s more like an inhibition. I don’t like speaking up when there’s a discussion going on. I don’t think my opinion is needed. And I just hate it when I make mistakes. I think that’s really one of my biggest flaws. I hate making mistakes. I hate bothering my classmates with my [wrong] recitation answers when they could be spending time listening to the right answer, provided of course by the professor. I don’t like asking questions too. I’ve encountered teachers in grade school who seriously hate it when students ask questions, so I think it just stuck with me that I shouldn’t ask questions and should just let the teacher talk. It’s also annoying how my professors single me out every time because of my performance in recitations. I don’t know if it’s because I’m doing well or if it’s because of my seemingly stupid questions.
I tried talking to people about this, and this morning I talked to my best friend/boyfriend, who is seriously one of the smartest and most insightful people I’ve ever met in the university (no, really). I told him that I’m just not used to speaking in front of many people and it’s embarrassing if I say the wrong things. Well, he said making mistakes is part of learning and regarding the speaking part, he said I wouldn’t have gotten a high grade in speech class if I wasn’t good at what I was doing. But come to think of it, I only got to pull off my speeches because I looked and acted like I knew what I was doing. I’m obviously not the most confident person in the world but that’s how I pull off most of my speeches. I ACT. Haha my dad told me the same thing once when I talked to him. People only see what’s outside, so if I looked like I knew what I’m talking about, they’re going to listen to me and if I make a mistake, who cares? He said it’s just like when I’m performing onstage. He knows that the stage is my home, I don’t feel intimidated when I’m on it. He’s seen me perform a lot of times and he told me that he could see that when I’m onstage, I don’t show any sign of nervousness or shyness and even if there are so many people better than me, I show people that I matter. And when I make a mistake, they don’t even notice. My boyfriend agrees, and tells me that I should treat the classroom as my stage if I get the jitters. Really corny, but it might work.
I need to have good grades this term, and I think I’ll do better if I start believing in myself. I’m really scared. If you have other things to help me achieve this, please tell me! I would love to read your opinions! 🙂